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Posted on Thu. Aug. 07, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

Mihsihkinaahkwa Pow Wow celebrates heritage and history Friday-Sunday in Columbia City

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Celebrating heritage

WHAT: The Mihsihkinaahkaw Pow Wow brings together Native American peoples to celebrate their heritage and to share it with the community.

WHEN: 5-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Morsches Park, off Indiana 205 just south of U.S. 30. From Fort Wayne, go west on U.S. 30 to Indiana 205, turn south and look for the park entrance on the right.

COST: $4, adults; free, ages 11 and younger; and $6, weekend pass

INFORMATION: 1-260-609-7844 or www.miamipowwow.org

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Usually, organizers of the Mihsihkinaahkwa Pow Wow only worry about having good weather. This year, they’re more concerned about road construction.

But they have been assured crews will not be working on U.S. 30 this weekend, which will make it easy to get to the pow wow in Morsches Park in Columbia City, said Pat Smith, pow wow executive director.The construction work includes replacing the bridge on U.S. 30 at Morsches Park and repaving a large section of U.S. 30 west of the bridge.

Along with being a gathering of people of Native American heritage, the pow wow always has been about sharing their culture and traditions with other people in the area, said Smith, who is a member of the Potawatomi Nation.

“We especially want people to come out and dance with us,” she said.

Native dancers will take to the dancing arena at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and again at noon Sunday, Smith said. Portions of the dances are spiritual in nature or possibly commemorating a deceased relative, and that dancing is for tribal members only.

The arena emcee will announce when the general public can join the dancers in the arena, and Smith said dancers also often come over to invite people in the audience to dance at that time.

Some people also like to take photos of dancers in full regalia, or want to have their picture taken with a dancer, Smith said. Just as a courtesy, she recommends people ask the dancer’s permission first before taking a photo.

Visitors also can see “Living History” demonstrations of how native peoples lived, peruse the items for sale by more than 35 vendors selling Native American products, try out foods such as fry bread and buffalo burgers, or enjoy other activities.

Local musicians Adam Strack and Mike Mowry, who are of Native American ancestry, also will play oldies music during a concert at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission to the concert is a freewill donation.

Smith said the pow wow, which honors Miami Indian Chief Little Turtle, usually attracts about 3,000 visitors on Saturday and 2,000 on Sunday, depending on the weather. The event is hosted by members of the Miami Nation of Indians living in this area.

kkilbane@news-sentinel.com


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